Redecorating, or Removing the Evidence of Disgusting, Filthy, Stinking Smokers

Yes, I have finally set to. I’ve been vaguely intending to decorate for a couple of years, but always put it off ‘until tomorrow’. Having made the decision, I really must get on with it. You see, we have two quite large rooms downstairs. We have our ‘Summer Residence’ and our ‘Winter Residence’. This idea has a lot to do with herself’s ailment (MS). In the Summer, the back room becomes our lounge and the front room becomes our dining room. It isn’t difficult to swap usage – just a matter of moving the suite and TV and the dining table, really. A lot of bits want moving around, obviously, but the big jobs are as stated. There is another factor – the front room is ‘cosier’ in Winter than the back room. Also, using the back room as the lounge in Summer, brings the garden much more into view and use. So, I want to move into ‘The Summer Residence’ pretty soon. Thankfully, as a result of advancing years, I made the decision about a decade ago not to use patterned wallpaper but to use anaglypta and paint. I have quite a few pictures that I have picked up from time to time in the past, and they look better against a plain background. But the main point now is that the idea of ‘papering’ fills me with horror – painting is bad enough. Another good idea I had about that time was to paint the door frames and skirting boards black. They look fine and need virtually no ‘maintenance’. I got that idea from a bank branch I once worked in for a time – except that, there, the chosen colour for the frames and skirting boards was grey.

There is a point to this story.

The first job is to clean the walls and ceilings. Well, regular readers will know that both of us are disgusting, filthy, stinking smokers, so the surfaces which are supposed to be white-ish are somewhat tarnished. Oh, Come on, J, be honest! – they are more of a yucky brown than white. (I knew what I was doing when I decided to go for ‘antique’ white rather than brilliant white) Anyway, half way through the cleaning, daughter 2 arrived home. She noticed the contrast between the cleaned surfaces and the mucky surfaces and said, “That’s the filthy nicotine, Dad”. I did not bother to enlighten her about the difference between nicotine and tar, but replied, “Well, yes, but I’m damned if I’m going to stop smoking just to keep the walls clean”.

Which set me thinking about these poor, almost always male, souls who step outside in all sorts of weather to have a puff because their wives want to keep the walls clean. I’d bet a pound to a penny that it is the husband who does all the decorating!

I don’t remember when I last decorated. It could easily be ten years ago. Just think about the many hours of contented smoking which have occurred in our house over the last ten years. What is a few days of cleaning and painting in comparison? Besides, there are all sorts of other ‘contaminations’ in the air which stick to walls. And the same colours all the time get boring.

My point is rather more general that it seems. Yes, those who step outside for a puff to keep the walls clean are rather sad, but not quite as sad as those who have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into thinking that a bit of SHS is going to kill them before they are 150 years old. Why do they not realise that that risk is probably smaller than being killed in a car crash? Why do health zealots don lycra and helmets and cycle around on roads where the atmosphere is thick with diesel fumes? Why do people don the appropriate gear and jog, breathing heavily all the time, along the pavements of major roads which are thick with traffic? Are they out of their minds? And yet these very people get hysterical about a bit of SHS.

Would it not be fun if it were the other way round? Suppose that all the academics were moaning like mad about diesel fumes and doing study after study and finding that people who were frequently exposed to diesel fumes were dropping like flies from LC, heart attacks, COPD, ingrowing toenails, etc, far more than farm workers who were rarely exposed to diesel fumes? Suppose that all these people, including the farm workers, were also smokers, but nothing was said about that and no studies took place about it? Suppose that the WHO was hell-bent on getting diesel engines outlawed and only passingly said, “Oh, by the way, it looks as if smoking could be carcinogenic”. Suppose that the recent jolly in Moscow had been all about the death toll from diesel fumes, and was supported by an industry which majored in manufacturing diesel engine fumes catalysts?


I was reading earlier about ‘the widespread infection of chickens with campylobacter’:

Note that no politician has pronounced. Remember Edwina Curry? She was sacked for saying that the chicken industry was awash with harmful bacteria. The story has come from The Grocer magazine, would you believe, and concerns only the fairly obvious expectation that not a lot of people know the meaning of the word ‘campylobacter’. In fact, it is surprising that about 70% of people do.

I don’t really understand the point of that article in the Mail. Is it true that many people buy a chicken, wrapped up in plastic, from the supermarket, remove the plastic, handle the chicken without getting sticky stuff all over their hands? Is it true that they then handle all sorts of food which they do not intend to cook, such as lettuce, with all the goo from the chicken still attached to their hands? I suppose that some people do. If so, then no amount of ‘education’ will ever get through to them.

I do some of the cooking at home because of the problems that herself has at the moment. Daughter 2 does the rest. Tonight, we had a fry-up, which is our wont on a Monday evening – eggy-bacony-sausagey stuff, and very enjoyable it was too. After handling the bacon and sausages while placing them upon the grill, my hands were gooey, and so I washed them. No big deal – simply running warm water over them and wiping them. OK – my procedure might not fit the exacting standards of LegIron, but they were sufficient since, once the food is cooked, I use utensils to move the food from cooker to plate. Oh, but wait! During this process, I butter a couple of pieces of bread! OMG! Am I scattering campylobacter germs in huge quantities all over the bread?

I doubt it. That is to say, neither of us have ever come down with even stomach ache over the period of time that I have been doing this cooking.

I’m not sure that LI would agree with my interpretation of some of his statements about bacteria. As I recall, it is not sufficient merely that the bacteria are present – there needs to be lots of them. If there are only a very few, they will not have time to multiply dangerously before your body attacks them and eliminates them. Of course, not all bacteria are the same.


All these scare stories depend upon one thing – marginal propensity.

Imagine the situation two hundred years ago where ‘the pox’ could be fatal or very damaging. It was found that farm workers were rarely affected by ‘the pox’. Why? Because they had already been infected by a milder version and were thus ‘armed’ with the antidote. There will always be, in a population of 60 million, some people who will collapse and die at a young age. Using the Doctors Study, it is obvious that those doctors, whether heavy smokers of light smokers, who died well before other heavy or light smokers, must have had some other problem. It may well be that smoking was a contributing factor, but it cannot have been the only factor. There must have been some other ‘marginal propensity’.

As with all witch hunts, the scenario is wearing out. Lots of countries are backing complaints about the Oz PP stuff. I have been reading about it. The basic claim is that PP obliterates Trademarks for no solid reason – that the claims of ‘health reasons’ are ephemeral. But these overtures seem to be unable to reverse the OZ decision. Either OZ pays compensation or withdraws from the trade pacts, if it is found to have acted contrary to the trade pacts. But, surely, the payment of compensation must be ongoing? It is not a matter of a one-off. Every day that PP continues, loss of trademark protection continues and the damage continues.

For heaven’s sake! How on earth did parliament vote for this stupid idea when the legal aspects were not clear?

Truly, we have entered into an era of Government outlaws.


2 Responses to “Redecorating, or Removing the Evidence of Disgusting, Filthy, Stinking Smokers”

  1. garyk30 Says:

    ““Well, yes, but I’m damned if I’m going to stop smoking just to keep the walls clean”.”

    Some tar; but, surprisingly, considering the climate, I’ll bet there is damn little mold(mould) to be found.

    Actually, not at all surprising.

    Mold is a fungus and cigarette smoke contains formaldehyde which has anti-fungal properties.

    Thus, by smoking, you have been keeping your house mold free.

    • junican Says:

      Good point, Gary! No mold whatsoever! I wonder what other free-floating bugs are protected against? The gunky stuff on the walls and the smoke in the air must terminate billions of bugs, spores and viruses. No wonder neither herself nor I ever get colds.

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